The road to the December elections nears. Consequently, many domestics and foreign elections observers are drawing keen interest in overseeing the process leading to the December 04th presidential election.
Election observers play a crucial role in ensuring elections are held in a transparent manner. Where there is election malpractice, poor organization, or electoral fraud, they sound the bell.
And as elections come closer in The Gambia, the Independent Electoral Commission has been receiving applications from potential observers.
“I would confirm to you that we have received interest from many observers, organizations both local and international that they are ready and willing to come and observe the elections of December 4th, 2021,” said IEC’s Director of Communications Pa Makan Khan.
The IEC official stresses that the leading elections handler and oversight body knows that the more observers partake in the elections, the more it would add ‘credence’ to the polls.
“The more we have observers, the better because they add credence to the process. So right now, I would tell you, we have lots of observers seeking accreditation both locally and internationally“, he said during a QTV morning time show.
This year’s election has already generated considerable interest, with 18 political parties and independent candidates contesting for the highest seat.
Gambia Participate targets to deploy 365 Election Observers
Marr Nyang, the Founder of Gambia Participate, a Civil Society led group, said observers play a vital role in the election process
“Election observers ensure there is a level playing field for all political contestants and that the information shared to voters are credible and impartial.”
Marr, whose organization draws keen interest in the election, reveals that they are planning to recruit both long and short-term election observers who would go through a competitive selection process. “And once they are selected, they will be subject to training on our built observation model and tools. Both local and international election experts would conduct the training. In total, we are planning to deploy 365 observers,” Marr told the Chronicle.
“I believe that in as much as observers follow the IEC election observation guidelines and the law, having many observers ‘should not be a concern,” Marr emphasizes.
The Media as an oversight Watchdogs in the election
The Media plays an active oversight role through reporting and giving voices to political offers and opinions across the board before, during, and after the elections.
“The Gambia Press Union is conducting various pieces of training for media practitioners to have a better understanding of election reporting,” said the Gambia Press Union Vice President Muhammed S. Bah.